TV shock for ticketless fans

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 March, 1998, 12:00am

THE British government has launched a ?1 million advertising campaign to deter soccer hooligans from disrupting this year's World Cup in France.

Home Secretary Jack Straw, in charge of law and order, unveiled a television commercial that warns English and Scottish fans against buying black market tickets for the tournament.

'The simple message is that the World Cup is not a place for the hooligan. He is not welcome and his loutish, cowardly behaviour will not be tolerated,' Straw said. 'The best advice we can give to supporters is: No ticket, don't travel.' The issue has become acute because the demand for World Cup tickets in Britain and other European countries far outstrips the supply. Around 60 per cent of tickets have been reserved for the French.

French and British authorities are worried that thousands of English fans, in particular, will head to France without tickets and cause havoc in French cities.

Straw stressed that tickets bought on the black market in France will bear the name of the person who purchases the ticket. Fans with tickets will be expected to provide proof of identity when trying to enter the grounds.

The TV ad shows supporters with black market tickets being turned away at the turnstiles when they cannot prove they are the same person whose name is on the ticket. 'If your name is Joe Bloggs and the name on the ticket says Josephine Jospin you won't get in. It's as simple as that,' Straw said.